Pope Francis told parents of LGBT children on Wednesday that the Church “loves their children as they are because they are children of God.”

Around forty Italian parents of LGBT children from the Tenda di Gionata (Jonathan’s Tent) met briefly with the pope, Avvenire reported. 

Tenda di Gionata is an Italian organization that caters to LGBT Christians, their families, and pastoral workers, per the Jesuit Review. 

The two-year-old organization also provides a safe haven for LGBT Christians.

Pope Francis met with the parents to hear their stories on the Church’s indifference against their families. 

Parents told the pope, the cold treatment of the church against their children when they came out.  

According to the organization’s Vice President, Mara Grassi, the organization “want to create a bridge with the church.” 

She wanted to change the church’s views toward LGBT people.

She also wanted the church to welcoming their children fully. 

Grassi gave the pope a copy of Genitori Fortunati (Fortunate Parents) at the end of their meeting. 

Tenda Di Gionata also gave the pope a rainbow shirt with the phrase, “In love, there is no fear” on it.

According to Grassi, Pope Francis, “looked and smiled” at the present, per Pink News. 

Fortunate Parents

The booklet narrates the experiences felt by parents of LGBT children with the church. 

Most often, church communities see the parents as “undesirable.” 

According to Grassi, the book’s title reflects the parents feeling of having LGBT children. 

The parents consider themselves fortunate because they “had to change the way” they had always looked at their children. 

This “new way of looking” enabled the parents “to see” in their children, God’s love and beauty, says Grassi.

Grassi herself revealed in an interview with La Repubblica, that in the past, she “was like a blind person” and suffered a lot.  

She thought that her son was “excluded from the love of God” because of the Church’s rules. 

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